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Full text of "A funeral discourse, delivered at Natick, May 11th, 1814, at the interment of Daniel Travis and Henry Coggin"

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jftmeral Mstoum, 





Minister of the Baptist Church and Society in Framingham, 

All chance, direction which thou canst not sec ...X.....pope, 

But wandering oft with brute unconscious gaze, 

Man marks not thee ; marks not the mighty hand, 

That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres Thomson. 



FRAMINGHAM, MAY 31, 1814. 

Rev, and Dear Sir, 

Pursuant to a vote of Middlesex Lodge we give ourselves the 
pleasure of presenting you the thanks of said Lodge, for your 
interesting discourse, delivered on the 11th instant, at the in- 
terment of Brethren Daniel Travis and Henry Coggin, and 
request a copy of the same for publication. 

Accept, Rev. Brother, this assurance of our respect, 
Enoch Belknap, 
Isaac Whitney, > Committee, 
Nathan Goddard,j 

Rev, Charles Train, 


Respected Brethren, 

It gives me much pleasure to find that my funeral discourse, 
delivered on the 11th ult. meets your approbation. I am fully 
persuaded that its interest must be owing more to the solemn 
occasion, on which it was delivered, than to the real merits of the 
discourse itself. Notwithstanding the many imperfections, un- 
avoidable from the very hasty manner in which it was prepared, 
if it may serve to perpetuate the melancholy event, which oc- 
casioned it, and cherish an ardent love for the Brethren, it is 
humbly submitted to your disposal. 

Your's, Brethren of the Committee, with great respect, 

Charles Train, 

Messrs. Enoch Belknap, 
Isaac Whitney, 
Nathan Goddard, 


I Corinthians xv. 21. 

For since by man came death, by man came also the 
resurrection of the dead. 

BEING called together in a most solemn and un- 
expected manner, it is my humble prayer, that our 
hearts may be deeply affected with what our eyes be- 
hold :-*-That the Brethren present of the Masonic 
Family may, in a manner suited to the awful solem- 
nity of the occasion, not only express their respect 
for their departed Brethren, but affectionately sym- 
pathise with the bereaved relatives, thus suddenly 
merged in affliction : — That we all may consider, that 
there is perhaps but a step between us and death, and 
that Divine Providence in these visitations designs 
our religious improvement. 

Our present existence, which is a state of trial, is 
chequered with good and evil. Pleasure and pain, 
joy and sorrow, make up the span of life. The 
transition from one to the other is frequently sudden, 
and as unexpected as it is sudden. The melancholy 
and distressing events of divine Providence may in 
some measure be softened down by the affection and 
sympathy of others ; but when deprived of those 
whom our hearts hold most dear, something more is 
desirable — a mind submissive to the will of Heaven ; 
and especially when the world recedes from our 
view ; when we can no longer enjoy here those whom 
we tenderly love, a hope full of immortality is 


The divine Being well knows the evils which we 
have to encounter ; the support which we need, and 
never deprives us of a single object without pointing 
out to us something else more than sufficient to supply 
its place. To the one thing needful our attention is 
often called, but which we are prone as often to for- 
get. The Book of Providence, as well as that of 
Revelation, is fraught with instruction. They ex- 
plain and enforce each other. When, by passing 
events we are reminded of approaching death, it be- 
comes us to examine our future prospects. How 
dark and gloomy must they be, and how little real 
satisfaction would this life afford, if we were here to 
trifle away a few fleeting months, and then become 
extinct forever ! if we were doomed to follow our 
friends to the silent grave without a ray of hope of 
meeting them again ! The Resurrection is taught in 
the Volume of Nature only by some faint emblems ; 
such as the tender germe, which, having survived the 
cold and dreary winter, puts forth its blossoms in the 
spring ; or the seed, which we commit to the bosom 
of the earth. That, which thou sowest, is not quick- 
ened, except it die. But these emblems are so faint, 
that reason of itself would never have discovered the 
important truth in question. But Revelation teaches 
us expressly the resurrection of the body, and in a 
great measure explains this happy, yet mysterious 

The apostle Paul has flung all the light upon the 
subject, which the nature of the case can admit. He 
traces the subject to its proper source, and ascribes 
the cause of the dissolution, as well as of the resur- 
rection of the body. 

For since by man came death, by man also came 
the resurrection of the dead. 

The innocence and happiness of man ran parallel. 
So long as he possessed a conscience void of offence, 


all was quiet and happy. Like Wolsey, he might 
have said, I know myself now, and I feel within me 
a peace above all earthly dignities ; a still and quiet 
conscience. But alas ! alas ! when judgment had 
fled to brutish beasts, and man had lost his reason ; 
when, too hasty to be wise, man became a fool ; in- 
nocence fled, conscience turned accuser, and hurried 
him from God. We cannot suppose his situation to 
be very agreeable, when in vain he attempted to con- 
ceal himself from the view of Omniscience; when 
with his face reddened with blushes he was obliged 
to confess his crime, yet too proud to own the enor- 
mity of his offence. A consciousness of guilt without 
any hope of pardon constitutes despair. The pros- 
pect of relief from the promised Seed was all, that 
rendered his situation supportable. From the gos- 
pel of Jesus we must draw our support, or be alike 
miserable and forlorn. 

By one man sin entered into the world, and death 
by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, for that 
all have sinned. The curse, which was pronounced 
upon the first offender, extended to all his natural de- 
scendants. For death reigned from Adam to Moses, 
even over them, that had not sinned after the simili- 
tude of Adam's transgression. The reason must 
incontrovertibly be this ; that mankind universally 
receive from their ancestors those corrupt passions, 
which render them unholy in the sight of God, and 
which invariably lead to actual transgressions. 
Hence it appears, that there is not a just man upon 
earth, that doeth good and sinneth not ; that all flesh 
have sinned, and come short of the glory of God ; and 
that it is appointed unto all men once to die. 

By the first man, Adam, who was a sinner, death 
came as the wages of sin. In this death must be in- 
cluded a temporal, spiritual and eternal death. That 
it is a temporal death, admits of no dispute. That it 
is spiritual, I understand from the spirituality of the 


divine law, and the sufferings of Christ. That it 
must be necessarily eternal, appears equally obvious, 
unless we receive the quickening grace of God. 
That the bodies both of the just and unjust will be 
raised, the scriptures clearly teach ; that the souls of 
all men will be renewed by divine grace, is more 
than can be fairly proved from the sacred writings. 
Yet these two resurrections are often blended togeth- 
er, and the universality of the one is inferred from 
the other. 

This Apostle in his writings has repeatedly drawn 
a parallel between the first and second Adam. The 
first was figurative of the second. Death reigned 
from Adam to Moses, even over them, that had not 
sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, 
who was a figure of him, that was to come. The 
first man is of the earth, earthy ; the second is the 
Lord from heaven. The first Adam was the cove- 
nant head of all his descendants ; so the second Adam 
is the Head over all things to his church. That 
which is born of the flesh is flesh ; and that which is 
born of the Spirit is spirit. To be carnally minded 
is death ; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 
This carnal mind, which is enmity against God, and is 
not subject to his law, is transmitted from parents to 
children, and usually called original sin ; probably 
because it is the origin of actual transgressions. As 
by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, 
and since by one man's offence death reigned by 
one, death was inflicted in consequence of disobedi- 
ence. Since there is no discharge in this war, it 
clearly follows, that all mankind, however young, are 
tainted with this original depravity. 

We are exposed to innumerable evils from the 
cradle to the grave. But we must consider them, as 
the fruits of disobedience. We must humble our- 
selves under the mighty hand of God, and remember, 
that he afflicts us less, than our iniquities deserve. 


Instead of complaining of the divine government, we 
ought gratefully to remember the daily blessings we 
receive — and especially to contemplate the astonishing 
grace of God, who in wrath remembered mercy ! 
who sent his Son into the world to abolish death, and 
bring life and immortality to light through the gospel. 
Here it is, that light is sown lor the righteous, and 
joy for the upright in heart. Here it is, that we are 
taught, that the grave, at the appointed time, at the 
voice of the archangel and the trump of God, shall 
deliver up its prey. 

This the Apostle proves from the resurrection of 
Christ. For since by man came the death of the 
body, so by the man Christ Jesus, came the resurrec- 
tion of the body. This appears to be the Apostle's 
leading argument throughout this fifteenth chapter. 
If the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised : And 
if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain ; ye are yet 
in your sins. But now is Christ risen from the dead. 
For since by man came death, by man came also the 
resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, 
even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every 
man in his own order. 

To establish the resurrection of Christ, the Apostle 
brings forward ins witnesses. First he was seen of 
Cephas, then of the twelve. After that he was seen 
of above five hundred brethren at once, afterward by 
James, then of all the Apostles, and lastly by himself, 
as of one born out of due time. If we give credit to 
these witnesses, we must believe the Lord is risen 
indeed, and become the first f uits of them that slept. 
As a proof that they had no inducement to give false 
testimony, he observes, if Christ be not raised then 
they also, which are fallen asleep in Christ, are per- 
ished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, 
we are of all men most miserable. What did the 
apostle gain by believing and preaching the gospel, if 
it be all delusive ; as it must be, if Christ be not 


risen ? He shall answer for himself. Of the Jews 
five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice 
was I beaten with rods. Once was I stoned. Thrice 
I suffered shipwreck ; a night and a day I have been 
in the deep. In journey ings often ; in perils of 
waters ; in perils of robbers ; in perils by mine own 
countrymen ; in perils by the heathen ; in perils in 
the city ; in perils in the wilderness ; in perils in the 
sea ; in perils among false brethren : In weariness 
and pain fulness ; in watchings often ; in hunger and 
thirst ; in fastings often ; in cold and nakedness. 
Who will pretend, that the apostle submitted to all 
these trials and hardships, merely for the sake of sup- 
porting what he knew to be false ? If the apostles suf- 
fered all this, and gained nothing, then in truth were 
they of all men most miserable. If any credit is to be 
attached to human testimony, we must admit that 
Christ has arisen according to the Scriptures. — And 
if Christ be risen, it necessarily follows, that the hu- 
man race will all rise, every man in his own order. 
For since by man came death, by man came also the 
resurrection of the dead. 

With respect to the resurrection of the body, we 
may observe, Firstly, that it will be effected by the 
power of Christ. 

And this is the Father's will, which hath sent me, 
that of ail which he hath given me, I should lose 
nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 
Christ received power to lay down his own life, and 
power to take it again. In short, he received all 
power in heaven and earth. By him were all things 
made ; and without him was not any thing made, 
that was made. He, who made man at first of the 
dust of the earth, is certainly able to raise his body, 
after it has mouldered back to dust, and been food for 
worms. In confirmation of this, the all-powerful 
Saviour raised Lazarus and others ; not only so, he 
invested his apostles with power to do the same. 


Resting', therefore, in the sacred declaration, that ail 
Things are possible with God, we may safely reap the 
comfort arising from the pleasing assurance, that 
death shall not always hold our mortal bodies under 
his dominion ; and that God will certainly effect this 
important change, though in a manner, which we are 
not able to comprehend. We shall but expose our 
folly, if by way of objection we inquire, how are the 
dead raised up? And with what body do they come? 
since the Apostle says, it is sown a natural body ; 
it is raised a spiritual bod}'. Behold I shew you a 
mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be 
changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 
at the last trump; (for the trumpet shall sound;) 
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we 
shall be changed. 

Secondly. This resurrection of the body is to be 

This appears evident from the words of Christ: 
The hour is coming, in the which all, that are in 
their graves, shall hear his voice, and come forth ; 
they that have done good, unto the resurrection of 
life ; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrec- 
tion of damnation. Jesus had been speaking of a 
change of heart, which he compared to a resurrection. 
Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my 
word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath ever- 
lasting life ; and shall not come into condemnation, 
but is passed from death unto life. That is, in a 
spiritual sense. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the 
hour cometh, and now is, when the dead (which 
must mean those who are dead in trespasses and sins,) 
shall hear the voice of the Son of God ; and they that 
hear shall live. This is the resurrection of the soul ; 
and is what I understand by the first resurrection. 
Blessed and happy is he, that hath part in the first 
resurrection. On him the second death (which 
must be considered eternal,) hath no power. But 

when he speaks of those in their graves, he speaks 
concerning the resurrection of the body. The former 
is a resurrection of believers in a moral sense, which 
takes place at their conversion. The latter is the 
resurrection of the body, both of the just and unjust. 
And many of them, that sleep in the dust of the earth 
shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to 
shame and everlasting contempt. The bodies of the 
wicked will be spiritual and incorruptible ; but their 
glory will be like that of the moon ; whereas the 
righteous will shine like the brightness of the sun, in 
the kingdom of their Father. Son of man, can these 
dry bones live ? Lord God, thou knowest. 

"Thirdly. We shall consider the purpose, for which 
the dead are to be raised. 

It is to appear in judgment, and to receive a right- 
eous retribution according to their works. And I 
saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it. from 
whose face the heaven and the earth fled away ; and 
there was found no place for them. And \ saw the 
dead, small and great, stand before God. And the 
books were opened, and another book was opened, 
w hich was the book of life ; and the dead were judged 
out' of the things which were written in the books, 
according to their works. And the sea gave up the 
dead, which were in it ; and death and hell delivered 
up the dead, which were in them, and they were 
judged, every man according to their works. And 
death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This 
is the second death. And whosoever was not found 
written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. 

It is appointed unto all men once to die, and after 
death the judgment. Death and judgment stand 
closely connected. Reason as well as Revelation 
teaches us, that we are accountable creatures. To 
what purpose is reason bestowed, if debased by sen- 
sual indulgence ? And the most effectual curb to 


our unruly passions is a just sense of our accountabili- 
ty to God, It is to this religious principle we owe 
the peace and good order of society. Nor can a per- 
son gain admission into our Masonic Fraternity w ho 
does not hold himself accountable to God and his 
brethren. It is indeed a light thing to be judged by 
man, when our own hearts condemn us not. But 
God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things. 
The idea of standing before his tribunal, where the 
secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest, and w here 
we are to receive according to our works, whether 
good or bad, is indeed awfully solemn ! What more 
interesting scene can we imagine, than to view the 
Judge of quick and dead seated upon his dread tribu- 
nal, clothed v\ith power and great glory, and attended 
by his celestial retinue ! When he shall send forth his 
angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall 
gather together his elect from the four winds, from one 
end of heaven to the other ; when before him shall 
be gathered all nations ; when he shall pass a right- 
eous sentence upon each individual, and separate 
them one from another as a shepherd divideth his 
sheep from the goats ; when the wieked shall go away 
into everlasting punishment ; but the righteous into 
life eternal ! 

If Jesus be formed in our hearts, the hope of glory ; 
if we possess a good degree of assurance, that, when 
our earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, we 
have a building of God, a house not made with hands 
eternal in the heavens, we can meet death in triumph, 
and our Judge in peace. We shall desire to be absent 
from the body, that we may be present with the Lord. 
The wicked and profane, who wink death and judg- 
ment out of sight, who put by religion for a more 
convenient season, are at last driven away in their 
wickedness ; but the righteous hath hope in his death. 
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright ! for 
the end of that man is peace. t me live the life of 
the righteous, and let my last end be like his. 



My Brethren, 

We are suddenly deprived of two respectable mem- 
bers of our Society. This solemn event speaks to us 
in language not to be misunderstood. Be ye also 
ready ; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of 
man cometh. Over the graves of our departed breth- 
ren, it becomes us to reflect upon the nature of our 
solemn engagements, and to remember the duties we 
owe to each other as men and Masons. May these 
admonitions of divine providence draw closer and 
closer the ties of sincere affection, and may the 
testimonials of respect, which we pay to the dead, 
make us more friendly and faithful to the living. 
Here let us drop the tear of generous friendship, re- 
collect the virtues, and draw the veil of charity over 
the foibles of our brethren, who have bid us a sudden, 
but short- farewell. 

It is not my intention to eulogize their characters. 
Suffice it to say, that to the best of my knowledge, 
and I have been considerably acquainted with them 
both, they possessed a fair standing in society, and 
among Masons. One was a worthy and active officer 
of the Lodge ; and it is truly solemn to reflect, that 
they are never more to meet us at the place of our 
social intercourse. Whether they have gained ad- 
mission into the Celestial Lodge above, is not for us 
to say ; to our Great Grand Master they stand or fall. 
It ill becomes us to judge and set at nought a brother, 
when we all must stand before the judgment seat of 
Christ. It may be lawful for us to hope, that they 
have that charity which never faiieth. 

It is but just to observe, that when we receive 
members into our Fellowship as Free- Masons, we ask 
not, what are their distinguishing tenets of religion ; 


but, are they honest ? Are they industrious ? Are 
they temperate in all things ? Are they good and 
worthy members of society ? If moral, we approve 
them ; and if religious, so much the better. 

Brethren, the time is short ; and we must give an 
account of our stewardship. Let me exhort you to 
double your diligence ; to embrace the happy mo- 
ment, while time and opportunity offer, to provide 
with care against that important change, when the 
pleasures of this world shall cease to delight ; and the 
reflections of a life spent in the exercise of piety and 
virtue yield the only comfort and consolation. Final- 
ly, my brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatso- 
ever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, 
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are 
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report ; if there 
be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on 
these things. May we ever square our actions by the 
square of virtue, and remember, that we are travelling 
upon the level of time to that undiscovered country, 
from whose bourn no traveller returns. 

We have likewise pledged ourselves to extend our 
best wishes to the widows and orphans of our deceas- 
ed worthy brethren. 

In behalf of my brother Masons, I tender to the 
widows and children, now overwhelmed with sorrow, 
our sincere condolence ; and assure you, that we 
stand ready personally to lend you all the comfort and 
assistance, which your circumstances may require, 
and which may be in our power to bestow. This is 
the way, in which we shew our regard for our breth- 
ren, when they are no more. The melancholy cir- 
cumstances, which instantaneously plunged you into 
the deepest affliction, are too painful in this place to 
rehearse. So great and so sudden a transition from 
the pleasures and endearments of domestic life to a 
State of bereavement must unavoidably produce the 


keenest anguish. But my dear, affiictecWsi.ends; there 
are many things calculated to sooth your grief. 
There are many, who respect the memory of the de- 
ceased, and who deeply lament their untimely fate. 
You will permit me, moreover, toTemind you, that 
there is a never-failing Friend, who is a present help ^ 
in time of trouble, and who has styled himself the 
widow's God and Judge, and a Father to the father- 
less. To the arms of his providence, and to the 
word of his gcace, I commend you,< May he support 
you through your afflictions, cause all things to work 
together for your spiritual good, and at last present 
you faultless before the throne of his glory with ex- 
ceeding joy. 

May all who witness this affecting scene, remember 
they are mortal ; that in an unexpected moment we 
may be snatched from time to eternity. Are we pre- 
pared for so great a change ? To the gospel of Jesus I 
refer you. He now calls, loudly and solemnly calls 
you to repentance, and to the obedience of faith. Let 
him not, I entreat you, call in vain. Dust thou art, 
and unto dust shalt thou return ; but Jesus shall re- 
animate our clay, bring us before his Tribunal, pass 
sentence upon us, which will render us happv or mis- 
erable in body and soul forever and ever. Then let 
us all flee for refuge, trust in his atonement and obe- 
dience, live a life of faith and holiness, that when he 
shall come with the thousands of his saints and angels, 1 
we may be caught up by his power to rneel him in 
the air, and dwell forever with the Lord. Amex.